UNISON represents nearly 30,000 members working in further education and sixth form colleges across the UK.

We’re the support staff specialists, with the largest number of support staff members of any union, and we understand the issues you face both in and out of the classroom.

UNISON has a seat at the table to negotiate on your pay and conditions, and because we only represent support staff, we’re completely focused on securing what’s important to you.

We don’t just represent you and campaign on the big issues you’d expect like pay, college funding and temporary contracts. UNISON is here to improve your working life day to day by securing agreements on workload, sickness absence and much more.

We represent college staff working in a huge variety of roles:

  • training and assessment (including demonstrators, assessors, verifiers)
  • advisors (including careers advisors, employment liaison, student counsellors)
  • technical
  • library services
  • facilities (cleaners, estates managers)
  • professional, administration and business support (including staffing/HR, marketing, communications, receptionists)
  • specialist learning support (including curriculum support and special needs and disabilities support)
  • catering (including chefs, cooks and canteen staff)
  • IT, data (including IT support)
  • finance and procurement (including payroll, tendering)

Check out the sections below to find out how UNISON works for college staff in all these roles – fighting for better pay, tackling excessive workloads, demanding job security, lobbying for improved college funding and supporting you in dealing with students.

If you’re in Scotland, check out the dedicated pages for further education staff.

UNISON Scotland in colleges

Champions in Our Colleges

Champions in Our Colleges will take place on Friday 9 February 2024. The aim of the day is to celebrate support staff working in further education and give recognition to the hard work and dedication they show every day.

Read more

College staff pay

Find out why we’re best placed to negotiate with colleges to improve your pay.

Read more

Workload in colleges

Find out about how UNISON challenges unmanageable workloads.

Read more

Job security in colleges

Zero-hours and casual contracts are all too common in colleges. UNISON campaigns at every level for secure employment.

Read more

College funding

UNISON works with other trade unions, student groups and employers to lobby the government for better funding.

Read more

Student behaviour in colleges

Whatever your job, working in a college presents challenges. We provide training and resources relevant to your role.

Read more